A variation on a Christmas classic, using some local pantry items.
I had some cooked barley in my fridge, remnants of a barley-broth. I decided to employ the rice pudding method to save the left-overs. (Rice Pudding Method: a lengthy secondary cooking in sugar and milk.) The barley sucks up a lot of the milk and releases some starch into the pot.
Once a porridge has formed, cooked wild rice and dried cherries are added, and the whole lot is thickened with butter, egg yolk, and a touch of cream.
Since the wild rice and cherries are added at the end, they stay firm for textural contrast.
Wild Rice and Barley Pudding
- 235 g cooked pearled barley
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This is one of my favourite ways to showcase my maple syrup. A simple oat cake is baked, then cut into squares and cooled. The baking dish is then filled with hot maple syrup, which the cake soaks up like a sponge. Essentially a lazy man’s pouding chômeur (a lazy man’s poor man’s pudding?)
Oat Cake in Maple Syrup
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
For the soaking syrup:
- 2 cups maple syrup
- 2 cups
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Some would think this is the inside of my compost bin, but it’s actually the inside of my stockpot: roasted lamb bones and vegetables, as well as all the darkly caramelized bits scraped from the bottom of the roasting tray. These flavours formed the soul of the Burns Supper, as the resulting stock was used not only in the soup, but also in the haggis and the clapshot. They were the mellow, earthy foundation of the entire meal.
Making a pot of stock the night before a large meal has become a very fond tradition. The house fills with the aroma first of roasting bones, then of the simmering stock, while excitement for the coming meal slowly accrues.
Some specifics … Continue reading.
I don’t cook rice very often, but I used to work at a restaurant that let me take home large amounts of leftover rice, and over the years I have developed a taste for rice pudding. My favourite version is made with a blend of brown and wild rice (which adds a satisfying chew to the dish), and dried saskatoons.
Lately I’ve been wondering if I could make a similar dish with a starch that is more common in my kitchen. Take that fifty pound bag of wheat berries in my closet, for instance. The one that I keep threatening to grind into flour if it doesn’t make itself more useful.
I was wary of trying to adapt wheat to … Continue reading.
Today Judy showed up with a bag of Canada Goose wild rice from Fort Assiniboine. Wild “rice” is actually a misnomer: it’s the seed of zizania grasses, which are not part of the rice family, though they are closely related. Anyways, it’s indigenous to lakes across Canada and the northern United States.
The harvesting of wild rice is a pretty interesting affair. Here’s a video of some hippies in Maine taking a canoe into the rice marsh.
Because of the high moisture content of the grain, wild rice actually goes through a good deal more processing than its true-rice cousins. After harvest wild rice is left in large, damp piles to mature for about a week, then dried over a … Continue reading.
In the last few days I have learned a lot about oats. For example: whole oats are called groats. Not impressed? Fine. Here are the main “styles” of processed oats:
- Rolled oats: steam-rolled flat. I think the most popular style.
- Steel-cut oats: each groat is cut (by steel, I guess) into a few pieces. Sometimes called Irish oats.
- Quick Oats: the oats are steel cut and then steam-rolled, even flatter than rolled oats, reducing cooking time (hence the name).
Why have I become a scholar of oats? This week Judy brought us a 20 kg bag of rolled oats and a 20 kg bag of quick oats, both from the Can-Oat mill in Manola, and each costing about $25. While … Continue reading.